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February 2006
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Macaulay Institute launches fast turnaround agricultural soil testing service

The Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen has launched a suite of soil analyses targeted at the agricultural community with the introduction of This service is designed to provide easy access through a new Website to the Macaulay’s soil analysis laboratories, providing a fast turnaround from sampling to analysis report.

Aimed at providing farmers, horticulturists, groundsmen and gardeners with excellent, accredited (ISO 17025) soils data rapidly, the service has been launched in response to increasing demand for soils analysis to comply with environmental legislation. It will particularly benefit users in remote locations where waiting times for visits from representatives of conventional analytical service organisations can significantly delay the receipt of results.

Dr Andy Midwood, Head of the Macaulay’s Analytical Group, which is providing the new service, said: “Our new service will provide a route
through the web, or by telephone, for anyone with an interest in obtaining high quality soil data. By simply contacting us by accessing
the new website or telephoning 01224 498200 we will send out a soil sampling kit, containing all that is required to
enable soils samples to be taken, which is then returned to us by freepost and an analysis report follows a few days later.

“Other companies offering this service for example, may rely on a local representative to visit the farm/site take the sample and then at some
point the sample is returned to a lab for analysis which can take a couple of weeks. With our new service there is no waiting, the client
dictates when the sample is taken and from where.”

After initially registering on the new website, users will be sent instructions on how to take soil samples, containers and pre-paid
returns packages. Soil samples can be analysed for key nutrients, pH and nitrate at the Institute. Soil attributes will be analysed to ISO
17025 standards and reported using, easy to interpret, custom designed software.

The Macaulay Institute has been synonymous with soils research for 70 years, and in its position as the premier land use research organisation
in the UK, is ideally suited to provide excellent, accredited soils data rapidly. Recent investment in state of the art analytical
instrumentation and a corresponding increase in capacity for those analyses of importance to agriculturalists has enabled the Macaulay to
offer its analytical skills outside the scientific community for the first time.